When I decided to have kids, I opted not to use corporal punishment. There are varying points of view on this. One such view is that spanking toddlers is the only way to get through to them, since they haven’t yet mastered communication skills. I completely disagree. It’s simply not necessary to spank at any age. There are much more effective ways to teach your kids right from wrong. For instance, here are 5 ways to discipline toddlers without spanking.
Use their favorite word.
Nearly every toddler knows what “no” means. After all, they use it themselves, several times daily. So, you see, in some cases, language is not a barrier to disciplining them. When it is, use the words they know to get through to them. A short and sweet command, such as “no” will yield much better results than a string of words they can’t comprehend. It’ll also make more sense to them than a spanking.
Tell them what time it is.
When you see bad behavior coming on, stop it in its tracks by declaring what time it is. What does that mean? Well, it’s quite simple. You scoop them up and say, “OK, time to go home”, or “time to make snacks” or whatever other activity comes next. Pretty soon their mind will be on the next activity, rather than whatever is stressing them out.
Give your toddler credit for having some intelligence.
Speak to them directly and simply. Use language they are familiar with. “No” isn’t the only word they can comprehend. Speak softly, with a loving tone in your voice. This let’s them know you care. If they don’t know many words, use sign language. Your gestures and demeanor communicate more than you think.
Teach, don’t strike.
Teaching your toddler the right way is sometimes harder than giving them a swat. Still, it’s well worth the effort. Lessons patiently taught will stick with them for life. For instance, when your toddler makes a mess work along side them. Teach them how to clean up after themselves, rather than smacking them for what was likely an accident. Let them take over the job as they become more capable. Be sure to praise their efforts.
Be consistent, even though they may not understand at first.
The main reason people have trouble disciplining their toddlers isn’t a lack of corporal punishment. It’s inconsistency. One of the biggest keys to good parenting is reacting the same way every time your toddler behaves badly. Give them an inch and they’ll take several hundred miles. If you never cave, they’ll never think they can occasionally get away with things. How you discipline your toddler often sets patterns for life. Why not do it without pain and shame? They’ll thank you with good behavior in later years.
More from Jaipi:
No Spanking Doesn’t Mean No Discipline
Is it ever OK to give kids the silent treatment?
Family peace: Lower the volume 5 ways